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Software piracy has become an issue of great concern in this technology era. Most computer software users are looking for cheap or free options that serve their primary interests, instead of going for legitimate software such as those sold on Amazon. However, there a number of risks presented by counterfeit or pirated software to both the users and their computers. Pirated software are dangerous because of the risk of landing on dangerous websites, application or program not working efficiently and effectively, and exposure to unnecessary lawsuits by legal authorities.
- Risk of landing on dangerous websites. The developers of pirated software are normally not known. This fact means that there is a risk of landing on dangerous sites when downloading such applications. For instance, most personal computer users require word processing applications. In this case, one might go for the cracked versions that are cheaper or can be accessed for free, instead on a legitimate one such as the Microsoft 365 Personal. Even though the user will get the program for free, the cracked version may expose them to insecure websites which can mine useful data from their computers. Furthermore, if the cracked version asks for a lower price, as compared to the market rate, the buyers’ credit/debit card information can also be at jeopardy. Such a risk is not worth taking because it has severe repercussions in the long-run.
- Application or program not working efficiently and effectively. A good software should be both efficient and effective in its application. Moreover, it should serve the intended purpose without causing additional problems to the user. A good application should also be user-friendly by incorporating regular automatic updates. Most cracked versions of software do not have this feature. The user must continuously download a new version if the old one expires. An example is anti-virus, which protect computers from external threats. Cracked versions of anti-viruses require continuous downloading, which leaves computers exposed to threats. A good example of a legitimate antivirus is the McAfee Total Protection 2021, which is easy to update and offers continuous protection. Therefore, using cracked version, though cheaper at the beginning, might be expensive at the end because they expose computers to threats.
- Exposure to unnecessary lawsuits by legal authorities. Lawsuits can be costly to both individuals and businesses. Some of the cracked versions of software infringe on various companies’ copyrights. This fact means that both the developer and the user can be sued for breach of copyright. For instance, there are a number of tax applications that companies use for compliance. Some of them are pirated versions that are cheap or downloaded for free. In some cases, the users might not know about the legal issues. In such a scenario, if there are any malfunctions on the software, the client can sue the company for damages even though they thought that the application was legitimate. The Intuit Turbotax Desktop Premier 2020 is an example of a good software for tax compliance. Therefore, it is better to spend some money and be on the right side of the law than get something for free then face endless lawsuits.
There are a number of pirated software in the market today. Although cheap, they present the risk of landing on dangerous websites and software not working as required. They also expose the users to unnecessary lawsuits that can be avoided. Therefore, legitimate software is recommended for guaranteed success.